Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 26, 2016

Quentin Snyder

Donovan Mitchell

Louisville Cardinals

THE MODERATOR: On the podium with us right now is Quentin Snyder from the University of Louisville. Questions for Quentin?

Q. Obviously there were a lot of expectations heading into last year. You've got a very senior style squad coming in this year. What are your personal expectations for the season?
QUENTIN SNYDER: This year's team is a lot more different than last year's team. This year's team is very athletic. We're shooting the ball really good. Just the team is very fast, athletic, and we're changing the style that we played last year, getting up and down the court, and changing the defense to like a man-to-man defense pressing the whole game.

Q. Quentin, talk about what you've done over the last year or so to work on your shot and improve it and how that's gone along.
QUENTIN SNYDER: I've been working on this past summer. I was staying in the gym a lot. Coach P told me just to work on my arc, so that was the big difference. My freshman year I shot a flat shot, and Coach P told me just have more arc on my jumpshot. I think that's a big improvement.

Q. Quentin, how did not getting to the NCAA Tournament affect you guys, and is that motivation for this year?
QUENTIN SNYDER: It's definitely motivation. Last year it was heartbreaking for Trey and Damion for not going to the Tournament. But this year we're definitely motivated. You can tell this team is very hungry, because we want to go back to the ACC Championship and NCAA. So that's the main focus, just try to win it.

Q. You talk about that flat shot your freshman year. Last year you shot 40% from beyond the arc. Does that extra elevation, that extra trajectory from what you've seen in the summer, is there a chance your shooting percentage from beyond the arc will climb higher than 40?
QUENTIN SNYDER: I think so. Last year I kind of shot a flat shot. But still it was kind of both where I shot with the arc, and then like flat. But I know this year it's more of an arc shot. So I think the percentage should increase.

Q. In just a minute we'll bring up Donovan Mitchell, sophomore, tell us what kind of player he is. It's generally fun to get a player-on-player perspective.
QUENTIN SNYDER: Donovan is a really good guy, very athletic. He's been shooting the ball really well too, even in practice. He's probably one of our best shooters on the team. But he's going to do a lot for us this year. He's probably going to be our leading scorer this year, and he's going to have a big year this year.

Q. Just talk about with this team, you talk about the motivation. Talk about the style, and how different for a point guard, how different is it for you, and how much fun are you kind of having right now with the new style?
QUENTIN SNYDER: This new style I've got to push the ball up the court past three seconds. It's basically like a ten-second shot clock to try to get a shot off. It's very, very fast. We're not playing the two-three or the two-two-one how we've been playing last year, it's more of a man-to-man. And Coach compared us to his '96 and '97 team at Kentucky because we're very athletic and very fast.

Q. What do you know about that '96-'97 team, and what do you think about that comparison?
QUENTIN SNYDER: That's a very big comparison and a big compliment. He showed us film on the Kentucky '96-' 97 team where they scored 86 points in the first half. So giving us that compliment is really big. So I hope we do the same thing they did.

Q. What's it like for you being here, being in this role, and stepping up and speaking publicly, and the leadership role you're stepping into now?
QUENTIN SNYDER: It's a very big role. I've never been in this type of leadership role, even not in high school. This year it's a big difference becoming a leader and becoming one of the captains. I think I'm very improved in that. Talking on the court, telling people where to go in the position and calling out the defense. It's like you're a second coach out there on the floor, so it's a really big difference.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Donovan, as he's stepped up to the podium.

Q. 13-2 you were your freshman year before you got to January 1. What did you learn about the Louisville culture and the style of basketball in the first couple months of your season?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: You know, it's a winning atmosphere at Louisville. In high school I was fortunate to win two National Championships, but it's expected at Louisville. That's part of the tradition. You come here and you win games. There's nothing greater than going to a Final Four in the city. The fact that we have high expectations to get to the Final Four every year and do well in the Tournament, that adds a lot of pressure, but we all enjoy it, and it's a lot of fun.

Q. Is there a special joy in playing the kind of pressure defense and kind of strangling teams like you anticipate you'll be doing this year?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: Yes, it's actually a lot of fun. Growing up, playing New York City basketball where everything's press this and press that. It's a lot of fun. Not a lot of teams can do it, and we're one of the unique teams with one of the unique coaches, I should say, that presses it with every team he has. He finds a way to get us in shape, which, you know, watching it, it may look easy, but trust me, it's very difficult.

It's a lot of fun doing things you wouldn't see a lot of college teams do, it takes a lot of skill and effort and hard work to do what we do. It's very unique, and we take pride in it.

Q. Donovan, we had Quentin comment about you. How about you comment about your teammate Quentin Snyder?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: He's one of the best point guards I've ever played with. He's very versatile. He can shoot it. He's a pass-first point guard, which is huge. He's able to find the open guy. In practice, he makes passes that you just don't expect people to make. He sees you crosscourt in transition, spotting up for a three. He's a great guy as well. But he's just one of the best point guards I've ever played with, and I love playing with him.

Q. How difficult has it been over the last eight months with all the allegations going on around the basketball program?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: You know, like Q said, last year was pretty tough on us, when we found out we couldn't make it. But you know, one thing about the group of guys we have, especially the ones returning, we are really motivated by that. Guys like myself, Deng, Ray haven't made it to the Tournament, haven't played in that, so we're very hungry to get to that point. But we're glad that's all behind us now. We're just really looking forward to kind of showing the world what we can do now and then come March.

Q. Donovan, how has your role changed? It seems like it might be a significant change from last year to this year?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: You know, last year I played behind Trey. I had the leadership and the opportunity to watch him lead the team in not just points, but on and off the court. I've taken that upon myself to become a leader not just with scoring and offense, but taking a stand defensively, talking more in practice, becoming more serious. Last year I was just having fun, trying to figure out and enjoying your first year of college, figure out what you have to do, figure out your spots and know your role.

This year I've taken a more serious approach, starting with the summer and just going in putting in long hours and working on my shot, which I believe was horrible last year I should say. But just putting in a lot of effort both on and off the court.

Q. Coach has talked about scoring and where you're going to get the scoring from to replace those guys last year. Do you expect it to be more spread out because you've got so many guys?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: Yes, I don't know if all of you have seen it, but the red and white scrimmage you saw Jay Henderson go. I had 29 points on nine threes, so we're a really great shooting team, and a lot of people don't really know that about us yet. But when the time comes, Quentin will have a game where he'll have six threes or X amount of points. But I'll have one, Deng will have one. It goes all over. That's why we're a versatile team. This new style we're playing is built for us to succeed in the open court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #170 at 2016-10-26 13:15:00 GMT

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